Case Study: ClearForms and Inyo County
First-ever fully digital FBN workflow in California:
At the beginning of December 2017, a business owner in Inyo County completed the first-ever fully digital Fictitious Business Name (FBN) filing in California, through a partnership between CityGrows (now ClearForms) and the Inyo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, led by Kammi Foote.
For ClearForms it was another important first — Inyo was the first County to bring a workflow live on our platform.
Inyo County is the second largest county in California, with the second-smallest population. Many residents live more than 50 miles from the County offices — making in-person paperwork time-consuming and expensive. Now, Inyo residents can complete this important process quickly online, saving time and helping Inyo County encourage new business formation.
We were able to launch this process without any financial investment from Inyo County — demonstrating how our low-cost and “no IT needed” model makes creating better digital services accessible to even very small governments. We’re helping to increase the Inyo County staff’s efficiency — and their ability to manage their own technology. The Clerk-Recorder and her staff are able to set up and manage ClearForms workflows themselves. We’re eager to work with other Counties in California to quickly launch online FBNs in other jurisdictions through our cloning feature.
Because ClearForms offers templates (easily copied and customized versions of workflows developed by governments like Inyo County), new counties that want to bring FBNs online quickly can be up in running in just a few days.
The impact of digital: More revenue, less staff time
We’re very excited to share that, in addition to helping Inyo County improve their office’s internal efficiency with better technology, they are also seeing significant increases in compliance with the FBN requirement. Using month-over-month comparisons with previous years, 50% more businesses are completing the required FBN process because it’s available online— resulting in more revenue to Inyo County, and better data for planning services. Many of these new filers are home-based businesses that weren't known to the County previously. They were willing to file and register their entrepreneurial ventures, once the County made it easy for them.
Awards and Recognition:
In 2018, the Inyo County Clerk-Recorder's Office received a Challenge Award from the California State Association of Counties in the Rural category for its digital FBN program.